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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  January 27, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EST

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> we are not going to beat barack obama with some guy who heads swiss bank accounts while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to understand what this is all about. >> this week on "inside washington," >> this week on "inside washgingrich and romney- and-neck in florida. >> he should of been telling people that these entities were causing the housing bubble. >> the president's stated the union address. >> i will oppose any effort to return to the same policies that brought the crisis in the first place. >> it is not fair and not true for the president to attack.
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>> is he the most anti-democrat candidate? >> the idea that i am anti- immigrant is rebels of. >> -- is a repulsive. >> a starring role for warren buffett's secretary. >> i think it is outrageous. >> captioned by the national captioning institute >> florida republican voters go to the polls next tuesday to decide whether they want mitt romney or newt gingrich for the november election. rick santorum and ron paul are on the ballot, but they don't have much juice in this one. romney and gingrich were at each other's throats trying to out- freddie and fannie each other.
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>> he should say how much money has made off of households foreclosed by his investments. >> have you check your own investments? >> romney has made a point to remind us that he has never lived in washington, d.c. still, he seems to want to move here rather badly. gingrich has gone way beyond picking out the curtains for the oval office. he says that by the end of his second term as president, he will have installed a base on the moon. can he pull this off, jeanne? >> we saw something in the final days of the week where momentum is moving, and ronnie's performance is very strong in that debate. many republicans were frustrated that he could not and himself, he seemed apologetic about his money. all that was gone on thursday night.
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that will influence how the primary closes. >> charles? >> i think the moon base was newt jumping the shark, or it could have been his a dukakis in that tank moment. it was kind of a caricature of him. romney used it cleverly to say that newt is going are out to every state promising x, y, and z. i think the momentum has shifted, and what was remarkable was it with the audience at there, he would have thought it would have been the gingrich moment. it was romney. it could have and the advance team. it was obviously a romney crowd from the beginning. whenever it was, romney won and that debate decisively. >> colby? >> no question. newt gingrich was way off his game on a thursday, not only
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because the audience was not with them, but because he got hit hard by romney with a very good zingers and he seemed un prepared, seemed flat and startled at times. his comments were very weak. >> evan, why is the republican establishment coming down on and gingrich? that is what he alleges, and why. >> he alleges the truth. my colleague, mr. krauthammer here, and others have come down hard on him. these debates -- you can score in them because they are circuses -- what they showed on thursday night is that romney is the alpha male, and newt was weak. it is the end of newt. >> sheldon adelson -- let me
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give you that name, jeanne? is that what is keeping newt goign? >> absolutely. the campaign finance laws have changed the presidential campaign but newt gingrich was broke in september, fourth place in iowa, fourth place in new hampshire. he walked into south carolina with no money and no momentum. then a casino mogul billionaire, mr. adelson, comes with $5 million he drops into gingrich's pac, and all of a sudden you have a campaign revived. after he won south carolina, $5lson's wife drop another million into the friendly political committee backing in gingrich. we have never seen this before under any other cycle. he would have been forced out of the field after iowa or new
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hampshire. >> with all due respect, i disagree entirely. the two drops of a $5 million produced a controlled experiment. there was a drop in to him early in south carolina. but the reason there was a 30- point swing in south carolina was not the money for the ads. it was the incredible moments he had in the two debates, juan williams and john king moment. that was the entire explanation -- wait, i'm only halfway through. [laughter] a controlled experiment has two parts. he has the money in south carolina and he wins. he had the same amount drop in now in this other state, and he is going to lose it because he had terrible performances in the debate. the money was irrelevant. >> uh-huh.
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any more? >> no -- i would say qed. you know how they do that at the end of geometry -- >> with south carolina, romney was unable to handle important questions on his taxes, and a tax return issue hurt him there. and south carolina is a different playing field, unlike iowa, new hampshire, and florida. >> and he would not have one in south carolina without that money -- >> you don't need $1 million. you need is a cab ride. >> the $5 million woulmade a difference. the one guy who has some interest here can have that much influence. >> peter hart in the latest
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"wall street journal" poll says that the republican party seems to be hurting the republicans. >> no kidding. [laughter] these guys are calling each other child rapists and you think it is not going to hurt them? [laughter] >> the president lays down the markers for his reelection campaign, called the state of the union address. >> a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of americans barely get by. we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot. >> i think it was a great campaign speech, obviously stoking the class warfare issue. this may be a little different take than what you are getting from others, but i was astounded by his praise for iraq, since iraq is unraveling. >> senator john mccain's take on the state of the union at speech. evan, do you agree with any of
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that? >> i agree with all of it. it was a disheartening, but that speech, really. he needs a mandate for rebuilding infrastructure and tax reform. what does he talk about? raising taxes on millionaires, which i guess you have to do, but he is a tiny problem compared to -- to. it is a tiny problem compared to others. it was moving when he talked about the military, but overall a prophetic speech. -- pathetic speech. >> evan is absolutely right from beginning to end, since i took all the time before on the explanation of the controlled experiment, i rest my case here. >> colby. >> all the great issues that you talked about, evan, would have gone right over the heads of republicans -- >> voters -- >> may i finish -- working with
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republicans addressing those issues. what the president did is he spoke clearly to his base, laid out the issues that will be discussed this year in the campaign, and it issues happened to be the question of income inequality, that you will have on the republican side somebody who had a $40 million in two years and never worked a day in his life the last two years. the president representing people who are really trying to climb the ladder. >> you assume it is going to be romney. >> if it is gingrich, prayers have been answered becbecause barack obama is getting another four years. >> jeanne. >> i think that speech was not really aimed at the base. he was talking past, mr. independent voters. let's face it, it was a trial
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run. the winehouse focus grouped to see how measured, and the measures did well for independent voters. in a sense, it was and is winning state of the union speech because it wasn't -- a it was a disappointing state of the union speech because it wasn't a state of the union speech. >> it was a political speech because he needs a mandate and to do the things you need to do it that are really hard to do -- tax reform, debt reduction. if you're only mandate is to stick it to reach people, that only invites class warfare -- >> the nbc poll, a gallup poll, they all showed that for democrats regaining control the congress, there is a clear statement of republicans saying they would not support their own
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representatives. the problems we have seen at the last year that the president articulated a focus on the congress. >> two minutes of this is all i can tolerate. it was a terrible speech exactly the reason evan articulated. it was all small ball. kids have to stay in school until age 18? not even a federal issue. tax begun manufacturing but if you are high-tech, it is twice the right to trad -- is twice the break. he revives a 10-year-old debate about a 4.5% spread in the operate for higher-income people, which, if you oppose it for a decade, would not even cover stimulus money. these are small all stuff that address into the big issues, which is tax reform, entitlement reform, infrastructure. nothing in there for that. you got to ask yourself why he
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is running again. you read the speech, you have no idea why. >> immediately after the speech, he went out. >> he visited very obvious states, starting in iowa, going to what will be swing states in the presidential campaign. again, this is a rehearsal for the presidential campaign. he went out and try to sell those messages to the independents. charles is right, a is small ball. it is ironic that this white house, so derisive of the clinton administration for its small ball, has adopted the same tactic. >> what did you think of mitch daniels' response? >> the best response speech i ever heard after a state of the
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union, which is hard to do because of the pomp of the state of the union speech. it was the best i titillation of conservative stances on major issues of reform that anybody is given in this cycle. you sigh and wish he were running, but the advice i give to mitt romney, memorize that speech, give a everywhere you go, you will be president. he took on issues of inequality in away nobody else has. he said the way you want to remedy inequality is not to raise rates, which will hurt the economy. what you want to do is you want to have the rich country but by eliminating deductions, which increases in efficiency and inequity, and entitlement reform, so the rich will get less, which promotes social equity and debt reduction. that is the way you want to do it. nobody else has stated it. he did it in 30 seconds. >> to agree with daniels that it
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is not fair or true for the president to attack republicans in congress as obstacles? >> he has the right to say that. it is not true at all. that is not a mark against mitch daniels. mitt romney cannot give that speech. he has got something called bain capital that he is going to have to discuss. he has tax of currency last to discuss. he can i just stick with mitch daniels -- he cannot just stick with mitch daniels' remarks and talked his way to the presidency. >> do you think that republicans are looking at this and saying, this could have been my date? >> mitch daniels? i doubt it, because as charles said, giving the response to the state of the union is traditionally a really rotten
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assignment and they can not measure up because of the pomp and circumstance of the president's speech are. mitch daniels did well, but let's face it, it is up by this high off the ground -- is a bar this high off the ground. >> maybe it is a minor league performance, but they are hungry for that. romney could deliver, and it is the answer to his being at the rich guy problems. he could turn around and say, look, i'm for doing the hard things, everybody has to have a piece of the action, the rich, the poor. >> that would have credibility if, as a wealthy person, romney was actually proposing something that would take a cut out of his income and his wealthy friends. he would have a ton of credibility if he adopted one of those things.
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mitch daniels -- i know, but romney has not embraced a single policy proposal along those lines. if he did, he would have instant credibility. >> you think republicans are still looking for a guy and a white horse to rescue this thing? obama in that "wall street journal" poll is being romney and gingrich. -- beating romney and gingrich. >> when newt was on the march to the nomination and the establishment and, there was the thought that if romney collapsed, they would be looking desperately for somebody like daniels to come out of the woods. i think that is extremely unrealistic, but yes, there was a thought. if romney succeeds in florida, and it looks as if he is on the way, you have are really interesting answer about how conservative he is -- he says,
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"i became a conservative." >> the search for the hispanic vote. >> to say that enforcing u.s. law, to protect our borders, to welcome people here legally and expand legal immigration is somehow anti-immigrant just the kind of over the top rhetoric that has characterized the american politics too long. i am glad that marco rubio call you out on it. i think you should apologize for it and recognize that having differences of opinions on issues does not justify leaving people with highly charged epithets. [applause] >> i tell you why -- >> newt gingrich has accused mitt romney of being anti- immigrant, and no one wants to offend senator marco rubio. according to one poll, romney is leading in gingrich by 15 points among latinos, 21% undecided
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how to republican candidates get around the immigration issue? >> look, i think it is a fairly safe issue right now. in the primaries, it will be a difficult issue. what romney has tried to do is push a little bit to the right, where he is not sure he wants to be, because he will have a hard time scrambling in the general election back to the center. he was extremely effective here, because when you pull the rubio card in florida, you have won the argument. gingrich is trying to be accommodating, saying that if you have been here 20 years, we will not support you, and he had this whole if of it to you really want to grab a grandmother and put her on a bus, and romney had eight short answer -- at a smart, short answer, that the problem is not 11 million grandmother's spirit
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is about medical care, schooling, and jobs. >> jeanne? >> i talked to white house folks who feel, as charles just stated, that the primary has pushed romney it further to the right that where he was when he began, and democrats feel that looking at the primary process, that is one of the upsides, that the white house still expects is going to run against romney and the hispanic vote will be critical in the fall. this particular outcome is very good for them. >> touchy issue, colby. >> the latino community is not a monolith. you are talking about cuban americans, and they have a particular approach to this question of immigration from
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what you find going west, because you are talking about a lot of people from latin america. in addition to that, romney has said he would veto the dream act. it may not mean a lot to a lot of people sitting around the table here. it means a whole lot to the latino community. ronnie lott difficulty -- romney will have difficulty hearing away from that in the general election. >> in another debate he talk about self-deportation. >> republicans are playing a short-term game going after angry white males. long term, the hispanic vote is growing. it is a very tricky thing. you can pender all you want to angry white males, but in the process you alienate the hispanic vote and the long-term future of the party is not good. that is what democrats are counting on.
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you can feel the candidates on the stage trying to tread that line. >> that's be specific, it sounds like a newt ad. it is against illegal immigration, a huge difference, a sincere an important difference. what romney did on the dream act on the last debate is he moved to left. gingrich pushed him. he said he would approve the dream act for those who join the military, but not those in college. >> romney is like nelson rockefeller in 1964. from the northeast, he added to move to the right to get the nomination, and he turned himself into a pretzel. the tourist, mr. conservative, has his way -- the purist, mr. conservative, has his with rockefeller, went to san
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francisco and won the nomination. >> who won in the next cycle? richard nixon? not a movement conservative. >> it is a part of romney's narrative against him, that he is a flip-flop portra -- flip- flopper. of all the candidates, it is hardest for romney to move left. charles is right, he did start moving, but flip-flop will stick to him. >> basketball. >> let's talk about taxes and warren buffett's secretary. >> my net worth is within that number, between $250 million and some-odd million dollars. >> i don't blame mitt romney for paying the taxes he paid. i blame congress. >> warren buffett's secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than
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her boss. mitt romney pace 13.9%. how will that play in peoria? >> not well for mitt romney. he will be docked by this through the campaign -- dogged by this through the campaign. he is a poster boy it's what people say is wrong with the system, the income inequality. he is going to be -- republicans are going to come up with a nominee that they will have a lot of hard work to do to keep -- >> everybody aspires to be where mitt romney is. >> yes, and at other cycles, this may not be as much of and liability if it becomes one. in this environment, when you have in public opinion polls a sense from the public that they don't think their kids are going to make it, that is not a good
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place. the other thing is that a is not the number that is the problem, but these guys play by totally different rules than the rest of us. >> one thing populists are right about, the game is big in congress in favor of rich people. carried interest, which allows big money guys to pay capital gains instead of income, is outrageous, it needs to be changed. scrutiny on this may bring about that change. lobbyists have done a great job in washington protecting tax cuts for millionaires. >> two points -- which is why republican proposals for tax reform, along the lines of simpson-bowles, are exactly what the country needs and what obama has rejected. john kerry, a nominee for the democrats in 2004, released one year of taxes in 2003, paid less than did mitt romney. it applies across the board. if it is a black mark on romney,
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it should have been on kerry. but it is a different cycle. but romney in the debate showed that he could defend it without it only being the defense of his wealth. if he carries on it that way, he will be able to blunt the issue. >> you get the last word. see you next week.
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